Statutory maternity pay (SMP) is payable at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, and then at £139.58 per week for the remaining weeks.
The SMP due is easy to work out if your employee receives the same pay every week or month; you can check your calculations using the HMRC online tool.
But the HMRC tool is not clever enough to cope with unusual pay periods, such as quarterly or irregular payments. It could give you the wrong answer, which may lead to an over- or underpayment of SMP.
You can recover 103% of the SMP you pay to employees from HMRC if the total Class 1 NIC the business paid in the previous tax year was no more than £45,000. Otherwise you can recover 92% of the SMP paid; you make the claim on the EPS submitted under RTI.
Where the SMP (or paternity/ adoption pay) due to your employees in a month is greater than the PAYE deductions to be made in the same month, you can request advanced funding for the statutory payment from HMRC. This can be done online using a structured email form for the type of statutory payment.
We recommend the email method rather than using the Government Gateway, which has unexplained faults with this claims procedure.